NASA SBIR 2008 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 08-1 O3.02-9615
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Human interface systems and technologies for spacesuits
PROPOSAL TITLE: A Novel and High Performance System for Enhancing Speech in Helmet

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Signal Processing, Inc.
13619 Valley Oak Circle
Rockville, MD 20850 - 3563
(301) 315-2322

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Chiman Kwan
13619 Valley Oak Circle
Rockville, MD 20850 - 3563
(240) 505-2641

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 4 to 5

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
We propose a highly innovative system for enhancing speech in helmet. First, we propose to apply a circular array with 8 microphones that are inside the helmet. In our past studies, it was found that circular arrays have better directivity than linear arrays. The use of 8 microphones achieves a compromise between performance and complexity. Second, since the speech source and mics are close, we apply proven near-field beamforming to speech acquisition. This will ensure better speech acquisition and high signal-to-noise ratio. Third, we propose to apply latest developments in speech separation to untangle the speech from other background noises. The particular technique is known as Adaptive Decorrelation Filter (ADF) and has been proven to outperform conventional techniques such as Independent Component Analysis (ICA). ADF has strong potential in separating breathing noise from normal speech. Then only the speech segments will be transmitted. The proposed algorithms will be implemented in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) in Phase 2.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Our proposal system will enhance speech quality by eliminating background noise. It will significantly enhance communications between astronauts wearing helmets.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
There are many other applications that involve the use of helmets, including fire fighters, military personnel dealing with chemical and biological warfare, pilots operating military jets, etc.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Data Acquisition and End-to-End-Management
Data Input/Output Devices

Form Generated on 11-24-08 11:56